Negative myths about homeschooling continue to exist, and the real benefits often get ignored. Misconceptions like the idea that homeschooled kids are socially awkward or only come from wealthy, highly religious families often dilute the fact that homeschoolers tend to score in the 84-89th percentile on tests, while public students score around the 50th percentile. These myths also fail to represent the studies that show homeschool students score higher across all percentile ranges no matter the family income.
Despite the negative connotations that tend to cast homeschooling in a negative light, the benefits of learning from home far outweigh disadvantages, especially when it comes to finding success in college. Below are five reasons that highlight just how advantageous homeschooling can be.
Test scores are higher
As noted above, homeschooled students tend to score significantly better than their public-school peers, particularly on the SAT college entrance exam. A study from the National Home Education Research Institute found that homeschooled high school seniors who took the SAT scored an average 567 in critical reading, 521 in mathematics, and 535 in writing, while the gross national average of high school seniors was 497 in critical reading, 513 in math, and 487 in writing. In general, this study found that homeschoolers scored about 9% higher on the SAT than the national average.
They are actively involved in extracurricular activities
Many people assume that, because homeschoolers weren’t subjected to a classroom full of 30 students, they are socially awkward and therefore seek seclusion. On the contrary, most homeschoolers are considered “well-adjusted” by professional counselors and tend to display fewer behavioral problems than their counterparts. Students who are homeschooled regularly socialize with family members, parents, neighbors, friends, and others in the community and seek opportunities to be involved with extracurricular activities.
Thus, in college, these students thrive in clubs, on teams, and as members of study groups. This not only debunks the socially-awkward myth, but it also highlights the fact that homeschoolers tend to be dedicated college students both in and outside of the classroom.
Homeschoolers have a better chance of getting into college
Many people believe that homeschoolers have trouble getting into college. Contrary to this belief, however, homeschoolers have a better chance of being accepted to the college of their choice than their peers. Studies have found that approximately 67% of homeschooled students attend college, whereas just 57% of public school students seek a collegiate education. In fact, top-ranked schools like Yale, Dartmouth, and UC Berkeley reportedly recruit homeschooled children as they recognize that the qualities and skills of these students make the ideal college candidates.
They are eager to succeed
Dr. Jay Wilde, a former professor at Ball State University and Anderson University, writes about some of the challenges he experienced as a professor while teaching homeschooled students at the college level. And though some of the most common things he mentioned include things like the fact that many homeschooled students simply forget to put their name on assignments or have trouble taking notes in class, one of his biggest highlights was homeschooled students’ eagerness to learn and succeed in the classroom.
Students who were homeschooled throughout grade school typically want immediate feedback on assignments and are quick to adjust their work accordingly. And while they may not realize that immediate feedback isn’t always possible with a professor who has many students, this characteristic shows a passion for learning, bettering themselves, and taking the initiative.
Homeschoolers are better prepared
An analysis by Baylor University’s Office of Institutional Research and Testing compared the GPAs of first-time freshman who were homeschooled to freshman who had a traditional high school education. The study, which stretched over a period of four years, first noted that homeschooled graduates had notably higher SAT and ACT scores than the rest of the freshman population. And while this is significant in itself, what the study primarily substantiated is the fact that homeschooled graduates outperformed others in their freshman year. Homeschooled students had a final GPA of 3.364 while traditionally-educated students averaged a 3.038 GPA. The takeaway from this study is that, simply put, homeschooled students were better prepared for college than their peers. Additionally, this is true when it comes to the college admissions process – from completing college applications, to writing strong admissions essays, and completing scholarship applications.
All in all, research, professors, and collegiate institutions recognize that homeschooled students aren’t just aptly prepared for college, but they ultimately thrive as college students.